A letter to the friends of Grafton

Dear Editor,

The rain stopped and blue skies graced over the Trayhan river buffer planting site here on Parker Hill Road in Grafton, Vt. The field was covered with multicolored flags marking where community helpers placed 480 trees and shrubs. Twenty-nine students from grades three to six from the Grafton Elementary School along with 10 school staff members and the bus driver planted, composted, dug holes, and pulled knotweed. These folks diligently worked nonstop from 9 until 11:15 a.m. They were treated with ice cream bars before heading back to school. It was truly an amazing job by all. Thank you Mary Beth Culver for organizing this team of students and staff.

Many thanks go to all those who donated their time, equipment, lilacs, lilies, and knowledge in river bank restoration. Thanks to Pat and Peter Jeziorski for all the lilies, and Noralee Hall for all the lilacs.

Margo Ghia was instrumental, along with other conservationists, who wrote the Trees for Streams Grant and assisted in the planting. Everyone pitched in to get the job done; the last tree was planted at 4 p.m. on June 6.

Saturday was another full day of planting all the lilies and lilacs. They will bring additional color to attract the birds, bees, and butterflies as pollinators. Great big thanks to Danny Taylor and Ivor Steven for his posthole digger and MJS Lawn Care and Landscape for the use of the hydro-seeder that provided the water and donating five yards of compost. Kirk Goodwin was a gem in watering all the trees and shrubs on Saturday and Sunday.

The community helpers that came to volunteer their time was invaluable in getting this project completed. Meg Gonzalez spent hours with me digging holes after holes and planting. Josh Hearne was a great help running the posthole digger. Craig Moore was the knotweed exterminator, digging holes, planting lilacs, and the historian of the property. Cynthia Gibbs was another knotweed puller and planter along with Sam Battalingo. With all the pulling and digging, we made three huge piles of knotweed. More to cut down if anyone is interested.

On behalf of the Grafton Select Board, I wish to deeply thank everyone who helped with this buffer planting. It is my hope that this town acquired property due to Tropical Storm Irene, brings some beauty back to the community along with preventing the erosion of future riverbank flooding. It has been too long of a time that this area has been forgotten. Please take time to stop by and enjoy the work that was completed by these dedicated folks of Grafton. The beauty of this property will come in time, but it’s the community working together that makes it special.

Sincerely,

Cathy Siano-Goodwin

Select Board Member

Grafton, Vt.

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